Team:SCU China/HP/Silver/Engagement

01. Community Class

     Our team have been to summer trusteeship school in local area to organize a community class for children to introduce our iGEM team and knowledge about sleep. As the project of our team this year is to regularly express the melatonin in the intestine environment, our project is closely related to sleep. According to the results of our survey, most people don't pay much attention to their sleeping quality, or their ways of sleep regulating is not scientific. Their knowledge about sleep needs to be strengthened, and we believe that teaching children sleep is an important way to solve this social problem. Thus, we stressed the importance of sleep, and informed them when is the best time to sleep as well as how long they need to sleep per day.

     The children in trusteeship school are all devoted into our class. Actually, some of them has considerate confusion about sleep, but they did not have much chance to access the knowledge about this area. They asked why we will dream and why our eyes will move when we sleep. In order to let student fully understand what we taught to them, we have arranged a schedule of our activities.
     At the beginning, we separated all the students in two groups. During our activities, we had lots of questions for the students, which group’s answer was right, we gave them one point. At the end of all of our activities, we awarded the higher group’s students a peppermint.
     And then came to the first activity. The name of the activity was “how long will you sleep”. The aim of the activity was to know most student how long would they sleep and then gave them some advice. We offered the students the opportunity to discuss how long will they sleep at their age is most reasonable. Then two groups of students told us how long and why. Their answers were literally convincing. At last we drew the conclusion that how long should a person sleep varies from different ages.

     The second activity was that our team member organized a game which can help children strongly remember what is the best time to go to sleep. The rule of the game was a little bit like musical chair. We just replaced the music into slogan “It’s 10 o’clock”. There was a research showed 10 o’clock in the evening is the best time to sleep. Thus we made students enforce their sensitive to “10 o’clock”.
     The third activity was a team member telling students what is a sleep pattern. The sleep pattern was told in a understandable way by describing a boy’s sleep process. Students asked a lot of meaningful question such as why we dream. We told them there was two period of our sleeping process: one is rapid eye movement, the other one is non-rapid eye movement. I believe they fully understand the two periods.

     The last activity was a game to made a clock by the cardboard. We would like to let the students arrange their time of the day.
     The class attracted many children and their parents. In the class, kids gained knowledge about sleep, understood the importance of sleep and let the kids know how to reasonably arrange their daily schedule. After the class, the parents and the children asked lots of questions related to scientific sleep. Our team members explained to them patiently.
     No doubt that sleep is a significant part of our daily life. Thus, we hoped to do our bits to raise the children’s awareness about the sleep and encourage them to be curious in our project, particularly when our project is so close to everyone’s daily life.

02.  Library Exhibition

     Nowadays many Chinese don't know what is transgenic technology, and some rumors from the Internet convince them that transgenosis is extremely harmful to human. As many Chinese don't have objective an understanding about transgenic technology, we think it's our duty to publicize correct concepts about it. It's also a good chance to collaborate with other teams and develop our own project. Coming up with an idea that hold a scientific exhibition, iGEM team SCU_WestChina contacted other teams involving TMMU_China, UESTC_China, and us to make an exhibition together about transgenic technology. We aimed to make the visitors understand what is transgenic technology and get some advice about our project from the visitors.
     Eventually, SCU_WestChina got in touch with Chengdu Library successfully. Chengdu Library is a leading city center library in west China, receiving 1,010 million readers in 2016. After several conferences with other three teams, we chose "genetic modification and health" as the theme of the exhibition. And then we discussed the content of this exhibition and designed the posters together. The exhibition was composed of four parts: disease treatment, biopharmaceuticals, disease detection, and environmental management. Each team was responsible for one part. And teams from Sichuan University and team from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China completed forewords and conclusion respectively. We printed the posters a week ahead of the exhibition, and laid them out in Chengdu Library one day in advance. The exhibition lasted for 7 days. On the first day, the four teams went to the library early to distribute leaflets and small gifts to the public in the rest areas and outside the library. We introduced our theme to those readers, answered their questions, had discussions with them on genetic modification, and collected suggestions from them. The audience was very absorbed, and many said they had a more objective and comprehensive understanding about genetic modification, which makes us feel very rewarding. The four teams worked on the maintenance, publicity and explanation of the exhibition for the following days, and removed the posters and cleared the exhibition hall together on the last day.
     The library exhibition achieved our expectation. Lots of visitors said they obtain much knowledge about transgenic technology from this exhibition. For example, people used to see chemicals produced through transgenic technology as a kind of toxin. But now, they know that the chemical nature of these products doesn’t change. With our explanation, many visitors removed their prejudice and misunderstanding about transgenic technology.
     In the library exhibition, we cooperated with other three teams very well. The team SCU_WestChina contacted the Chengdu library and told them our thoughts about the exhibition. And we four teams made the posters which were very important in the library exhibition together. As we divided the theme into four sections, each team was responsible for one poster. In order to make the poster more clear and intelligible, besides responsible team, other three teams also participated in discussion and gave their suggestions about the content of the poster. In addition, when we had difficulties in explaining our project and ideas to publics, members of other teams came to help us immediately. If we hadn't cooperated with each other, this exhibition would not have succeeded. It was a fantastic and impressive collaboration which we would never forget. This exhibition was also a wonderful chance for us to put what we learnt in classrooms into society. Except doing experiments in the lab, it’s our duty to introduce the knowledge about biology and biotechnology to public as well. Through this activity, we did our bits to make public understand what is transgenic technology clearly.

     It’s also very important that we got many suggestions about our project from the public who visited the exhibition. We found that most people hesitated when talking about taking bacteria as medicine. So we considered to use a more safe bacterial stain as final product after we constructed the whole circuit in E. coli successfully. In addition, we found that many people worry about the amount of melatonin produced by bacteria in intestine. Therefore, it is necessary to test melatonin level in animal model carefully. These suggestions and feedback were helpful for us to improve our project. They make us understood public opinion, so we can develop our project in the aspect of drug shape, mode of administration and so on in the future work.

03.   ACMA

     We held the Sichuan University 2017 Architects Competition of Microorganism Application: Human /Animal Health in September and October. The competition included the first oral defense and the final. Three of the team members, student team leader of team “SCU-WestChina”, and two advisors of our association were present as judging panel.
     This competition required contestants participate in the competition in groups. And each group should design their project about Human /Animal Health. Then the groups took part in the defense to present their project. Finally, based on their project feasibility, creativity, safety and so on, the groups were awarded different prizes.
     After the first oral defense, 7 teams were chosen to attend the final. The final was held in the one of the largest classroom in Jiang’an Campus of Sichuan University. More than 10 professors attended as judges. After the final defence, one gold award, two silver awards and three bronze awards were issued.

Abstracts of projects awarded gold, silver and bronze are listed as followed.


Dual Prevention And Treatment Of AIDS

     HIV mainly infects CD4+T lymphocytes, and it identifies host cells by binding the surface glycoprotein gp120 to CD4 receptors on the surface of CD4+T lymphocytes. Cyanovirin-N(CV-N) is a protein which can bind nearly irreversibly to gp120 and changes its conformation, so HIV has no chance to bond to CD4 receptors. But this bonding only happens during the early time of HIV infection.
     We intend to transfer the gene that expresses the CD4 protein into Lactobacillus plantarum and transfer CV-N gene into the downstream of Luxs-mediated quorum sensing system originally existing in lactobacillus plantarum. When HIV enters the human body, it will be bond to the engineering bacteria to form a mass complex, which will lead to increase of the local density of the engineering bacteria to the threshold value of the quorum sensing system. As a consequence, engineering bacteria can secret the CV-N protein immediately.


Site Specific Recombination Techniques Used In Phage Therapy For Pneumonia

     The phage treatment is just over its horizon. However, this new therapy has not been applied clinically due to the excessive host specificity of natural bacteriophage. In response to this problem, we use site-specific recombination to widen the host range of Streptococcus pneumoniae phage Cp-1, making it infectious to Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae, and thus provide a new way treating pneumonia.
     The transmission of trypanosomiasis was blocked by sodalis and Wolbachia.


Improving The Heterologous Expression Of Epothilone B Production

     To increase the yield of epothilone B, in this project, we try to modify Pichia Pastoris by using synthetic biology. Based on the fact that Pichia pastoris contains acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase, and by using the strong promoter and gene mutation, we can increase the yield of epothilone and promote the conversion of other types of epothilone. This can not only achieve the high yield of epothilone B, but lay the chemical production foundation of the epothilone B derivative.

Cockroach Killing Box

     We have developed a insecticidal agent against cockroaches, which is also destructive to other arthropods but harmless to humans and animals. Spores were collected by two-phase liquid-solid method and then made into sporopollen. The PLGA is then used to make porous particles, mixed with sporopollen, and then compressed into two fluted blocks. Then the two pieces are combined together to form a maze, where aggregation pheromone targeted cockroaches is put in to attract cockroaches. As soon as a cockroach touches the maze, it gets infected with spores and ends up dying. Spores grow into bacteria and will be released in the colony of cockroaches causing more cockroaches to die. In order to improve the insecticidal effect, we have made a modification of the Beauveria bassiana: we have imported the fusion protein gene with protease, chitinase and chitin binding domain of cockroach and tps1 gene associated with trehalose metabolism. And then integrate them into the host genome, in order to enhance the virulence and and resistance of Beauveria bassiana.

Probiotic Anticaries Tablets

     Generally speaking, we will make bacteria into powder on the premise of guaranteeing the bacterial activity, which will be combined with food-grade material and made into sweets eventually. Considering the fact that the domestic market lacks a specific product aiming at children, there is no doubt that our product will be a success with proper propaganda methods.